Mash Eagles soar high

HARARE - Mashonaland Eagles coach Mufaro Chiturumani is on cloud nine after leading the Harare-based franchise to their second Pro 50 cricket title at the weekend.

Chiturumani’s side held their nerve to second a nail-biting four-wicket victory over Matabeleland Tuskers at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Saturday.

Rookies wicket-keeper batsman, Joylord Gumbie (36) and spinner, Wellington Masakadza (24) put together an unbeaten 29-ball 46 run partnership to carry the Eagles over the line with only three balls to spare.

“It’s obviously a great feeling and a nice way to end the season. The captain led from the front while the two junior players showed great character to hang in there to win the match for us,” Chiturumani told the Daily News.

“It’s also a bigger achievement for me and only shows that the guys have responded well to my tactics because they were used to a different way of doing things. Our focus will now be on defending this title and most importantly to win the Logan Cup.”

Tuskers gaffer, Wayne James said he was disappointed to miss out on the Pro 50 Championship in front of their home fans.

“Unfortunately, it is very disappointing not to win the final and make it a double but at the end of the day I still believe it was a pretty decent season for us, winning the Logan Cup and making it into this final,” James said.

“It was a result that could have gone either way at any stage of the game, we kept the pressure on them but were just not good enough to hold on at the end but I’m proud of the way the guys conducted themselves in this match and every single match they have played this season.”

The hosts had elected to bat after winning the toss and had their captain Godwill Mamhiyo leading from the front with 63 runs from 55 balls.

All-rounder Luke Jongwe added 45 runs while opening batsman Brian Chari weighed in with 40 runs as the home team totalled 266 for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Tino Mutombodzi, Mashonaland Eagles skipper bettered his Tuskers’ counterpart display with the bat scoring 79 runs from 76 balls before he was stumped by wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami off John Nyumbu’s bowling.

Mutombodzi departed in the 46th over to leave Mashonaland Eagles on 222-6 and needing 45 runs to win from 29 deliveries which the rookie pair of Gumbie and Masakadza executed to perfection.

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